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1915: Letter from Ashur S. Yousouf in Prison
by George Sefer, "Dream of a Long Journey"
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2000 02:03 pm CST

Monday April 20, 1915

From my cell to my beloved brother,

Hanna Yousouf in America.

Yesterday on Sunday morning April 19th, 1915, when we had heard that the Turks were crazed with the anger of beastly slaughter, sparing neither man woman or child (unless she was fair to lustful eyes) we became terrified. Especially when the news came of the arrests of my comrades, I began to shiver, and during the course of preparing a hiding place, I myself was arrested and brought to this cell.

This is a good opportunity that I am enjoying to write you my last letter, for I know we will be cut to pieces when we leave here, though I do not know when and where.

Do not worry over my death-it is God's will- I am going to heaven to protect the rights of the Assyrians in the presence of the biggest and greatest Judge. The books and the work I had started about our nation's education remains unfinished. I am afraid they will be destroyed in a very short time. One of my biggest desires has been to keep our brother Donabed away from drink. I'd have given anything under the sun to have made him temperate but it was in vain. I will give him my last advice after I finish writing to you.

I leave my loving wife and children in your care. My son Isaak was to graduate from high school this year. I had intended to give him a college education, which is another unfinished task I leave in your hands.

The time is almost up and I close this sad letter with wishes for your welfare and safety, so that God may some day lead you to revenge on your enemies!

Farewell brother, farewell!

Ashur S. Yousouf

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